And? Your Problem Is?

Triple Dippers: 60,000 Veterans Receive Collect Disability Benefits, Social Security and Retirement Pay

Anybody knows that those that do not make much (and the vast majority of service personnel do not) don’t get much in terms of social security. Disability benefits are also calculated how your previous income, not how much you need. And while there is retirement pay, most retired military personnel go to work for a reason.

So if the Republican Party has a problem with service men and women getting decent compensation from the country they risked their lives for, they can go fuck themselves.

But this is hardly the first time they have gone after Veteran’s benefits or blocked bills designed to help them.

They did it again this year too.

And while the GOP has fits over how much Veterans get, they remain mum, if not protective, of military contractors

Funny how they will merrily slash social programs, but no one EVER talks about the billions of dollars of waste at the DoD. No one is talking about “streamlining” that, despite being unable to account for $8.6 TRILLION dollars.

This is the meat of it: Pure waste and fraud, and much of it was deliberately hidden.

While contractors like KBR continues to get military contracts.

3, 2, 1. KBR, KBR, KBR: According to the contracting commission, megacontractor KBR (a.k.a. the contractor formerly known as Halliburton) was paid at least $36.3 billion to provide base support in Iraq for the past eight years. That’s slightly less than the government bailouts for Bank of America and Citigroup. But then, the banks eventually returned the money. The commission report details numerous examples of waste by KBR. Where to begin?

There’s the kickback from the subcontractors who were awarded a $700 million dining deal in Iraq. (The Department of Justice has filed a claim against KBR for that.) Then there’s the $5 million spent on 144 KBR mechanics who worked as little as 43 minutes a month, on average. Inspectors have found that KBR can’t account for $100 million worth of its government-furnished property in Iraq. Despite collecting $204 million for electrical work on Iraq bases, KBR’s shoddy wiring has been blamed in as many as 12 soldiers’ electrocution deaths, including a Special Forces commando who died after he was shocked in a shower stall. The company has also billed Uncle Sam a half-billion dollars to hire Blackwater to provide personal security in Iraq, a big contractor no-no.

Perhaps most troubling is the company’s links to purported human trafficking. In late 2008, reporters discovered a windowless warehouse on the Camp Victory complex outside Baghdad, where about 1,000 men from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka were being held in prisonlike conditions. The men had been hired by a KBR subcontractor. Around the same time, another KBR subcontractor was sued for allegedly spiriting Asian workers into Iraq with false promises of high-paying jobs.

And the waste continues. When the troop drawdown in Iraq started, writes the commission, “KBR accounted for about half of contractor personnel in Iraq. When bases closed and its personnel left those bases, KBR merely transferred some of them to other bases and continued to bill for their support.” In all, KBR has cost the government at least $193 million in pay for unnecessary personnel, and maybe as much as $300 million. However, the Pentagon is in no hurry to give KBR the boot. “We basically said that KBR is too big to fail,” commission co-chair and former Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) complained last year, “so we are still going to fund them.”

And they have a problem with benefits for their Veterans?

If they were *really* serious about cutting spending, they would be going after contractors.

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13 thoughts on “And? Your Problem Is?

  1. Haliburton (I didn’t know they were now KBR) is on my list of “Don’t Get Me Started” topics. I find it bewildering that the party who is most eager for war, the Republicans, are also the party that value military personnel the least. I wish I knew why. Is it something to do with the fact that the type of veterans who end up on social security are usually from the lower classes, who are just cannon fodder anyway?

    • It makes sense when you realize that party only values America and its citizens as a resource to be exploited. Then everything they do makes sense. What bewliders me is how many in the military keep voting Republican when the party has so blatanty displayed in deeds that they do not value their service at all.

      • They blame the Democrats. Everything they do they blame the Democrats. “The Democrats put riders on those bills” or “the Democrats would not allow us to put riders on those bills.” Even the government shut down, which they planned months in advance and crowed over as they did it, they blamed on the Democrats (for not giving in to the Republicans holding the government hostage in order to undermine/defund Obamacare). They even hijacked Veterans groups to do it.

        So much for the “party of personal responsibility.”

      • Well the Christ did say the poor are always with us, so I suppose you can take that to mean ‘why bother with them?’
        We have a saying here about such people ‘I’m alright Jack, pull up the ladder…’

      • The hatred of the poor has become incredibly intense here. While discussing the current fight over raising the minimum wage ($7.25/hour) a person said this: “It’s just another paper carrot used during an election to keep the starving donkeys pully the cart of political royalty in the direction the royalty want them to go. If some of the useful-idiots die off alone the way, the better the optics for them.”

        They hate the poor so much, they want them to either shut up or die. That’s why they want to deny them affordable healthcare, decent educations, food, a roof over their heads. Even drinkable water: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/true-north/2014/jun/25/detroits-water-war-a-tap-shut-off-that-could-impact-300000-people

      • It is. There is a cultural war over the soul of the U.S. and how it will move forward. Or back. The country has not been this polarized since before our Civil War. And if something doesn’t turn around soon, we will see another within my lifetime.

      • We’re pretty messed up in a lot of ways, but I think maybe because there’s a paternalistic side to the lord of the manor Tories here it keeps a lid on the more rabid types. Come and live here, you’d love the healthy disrespect we have for ‘our betters’!

      • Sometimes, I really wish. But this is my country and I’ll fight for it.

        That is the problem, American politics has become rabidly extreme right vs. slightly right of center. In the 1980’s, the Republican Party got into bed with the Evangelical Christian Right. At first the poison spread slowly, gently tugging them away from classical “mind your own business”/financially responsible/Isolationist conservatism into morally-government regulation of personal lives/”Free Market”-laissez faire economy/ world cop conservationism and growing lobbyist control. (Our government has now become so corrupt, something like a third of the bills in Congress are written by lobbyists now, rather than elected officials. They aren’t even pretending anymore. But that is both parties’ fault.)

        Then Clinton pushed the Democrats to the center by adopting Republican issues, like welfare reform, and making them work. In reaction, the Republicans jumped far right. And they kept moving further Right at a pretty steady clip. Obama’s election prompted another jump. Probably, as I was forced to come to admit after a couple years, because of his ethnicity. The Republican party may not be racist, but they have a hell of a lot racists in their party.

        (A residual grime from the Southern Strategy Republicans pulled in the 1960’s when they courted racist southern Democrats pissed off at the Civil Rights movement to defect to the Republican party.)

        Obama is in the center or slightly right of center. (Which frustrates true liberals like me to no end to hear him called a “liberal,” he does not represent liberals. Almost no one on the three branches of government represents liberals.) But the Right in the U.S. has gone so far right, the entire planet looks left to them now. To them, and I am not kidding, he is a “liberal socialist/marxist/communist muslim traitor who hates America.” That is not some outlying nutbar, this is a common sentiment in conservative circles.

        Meanwhile the Religious right takes more and more control of Republican policy while preachers tell their parishioners who to vote for. That’s the problem with tearing down the wall between church and state: Both state and church become corrupted.

        This is where Europe has the advantage, though they paid a high price for it. The U.S. has no cultural memory of what happens when religion, especially extremist religion, gets involved in politics. We do not have the long and bloody history of religious factionalism you guys do. That was something our founders actively tried to avoid. Only much of the U.S. has completely forgotten that and allowed the parasite to take hold.

        You guys have learned to not take religion so seriously on a national level, to keep it personal. We haven’t.

        And the thing is I currently live in a “Battleground State” where this conflict is playing out blatantly all the time in fairly dramatic ways. North Carolina used to be “the progressive South.” Now the Republicans, and their veto-proof majority and governor, are trying to make it a backward hickville ready for energy companies and industry to suck dry.

        Anyway, I talk a lot about American politics on this blog. What is it like in the U.K.?

      • Bit shit really, lol.
        Everything changes, everything stays the same.
        We let the Labour party get taken over by bright young things who got through uni with non repayable grants, then when in government, carried forward Conservative policy to turn the next generations into loans.
        And so they went on, watering down every social policy since World War 1. They moved forward till now there’s almost no one I would recognise as a socialist. But, as there is no really viable alternative, I shall go on voting Labour in the hope someone comes to their senses sooner rather than later.
        Oh, and Russell Brand is a dick’ead is not a political activist, he’s a comedian who should stop talking…NOW!

      • The current conservative party in both countries seems to be “Fuck you all, I got mine!” Where the hell did it come from?

        I know what you mean about voting. The two party system is so entrenched here no one can come in from the outside. They can’t get the money to. So I am forced to vote Democratic in order keep the GOP from doing what they did to this country from 2000 to 2006, only worse if their speeches and state legislatures are to be believed.

        What we need is extreme campaign finance reform that will allow other parties a chance. I don’t know if the same remedy would work in the U.K.?

        Brand always seems like something of a putz. I don’t get why he is considered funny.

      • And of course every time the poor push back, the rich scream, “Class Warfare! Socializms!” They keeping playing it like they are, and they really see class warfare. People can only be pushed so far.

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